what it's not

Friday, October 17, 2014

image by arthouse design
My little boy is sick. Really sick. Since last Thursday, he has had periods of intense belly pain and vomiting, followed by hours of feeling normal and asking for food. He was in the ER four times between Friday and Tuesday night, was admitted to Children's Hospital Wednesday, and until yesterday afternoon, when we finally saw a specialist, no one has had any idea why he is so sick.

A guest post from Teri Murphy: On loving ourselves as much as we love our neighbor

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fung Leo, Flickr Creative Commons
Love your neighbor as you love yourself. - Jesus

It’s spread throughout Scripture, this idea of love. What it is, who it is, why it matters so much. I was raised in a conservative Christian household to believe that love means throwing yourself away in order to serve others. To never put yourself first - to do so would be the epitome of selfishness and un-Christianness.

And yet...Jesus so clearly assumes that we love ourselves. How can this be? 

“Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”  As I love MYSELF? I must’ve glossed over this bit for all my life. I know the golden rule: Treat others as you want to be treated. I don’t actually treat myself that well. I reserve the good treatment ONLY for my friends and neighbors.

But this is a command, isn’t it? Jesus is literally telling me ALL THAT MATTERS about the entire Bible so far.

Do our lives have purpose, or possibility?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Not long ago, this story ran through my newsfeed.

Don't get me wrong, I love this blog and blogger. If you aren't following her, please do. But her story gave me pause. I thought, I've never once told my kids they have a purpose in life - a specific destiny only they can fulfill. Should I be saying that? Do I even believe it anymore?

Nailing down God's purpose for my life was a big part of my old way of thinking. Who was I meant to be? What was I supposed to be doing? Did He want me to buy this house or that one? What school should I attend? What major? What schedule? Where do I work? When do I have kids and what will their names be and do I let them cry it out or hold them and do I send them to preschool and if so, when? The thoughts consumed me. What was God's purpose for me? 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Once I stepped off the plane, I knew I was home. Which is a funny thing to say, because until that moment I'd spent nine whole days of my life in Colorado.

Today I am sharing one of my very favorite stories about God's will and our move to Colorado over at Venn Magazine. Are our lives like a Lego set, and it's our job to find the next specific brick to move forward? Or are we co-creators with God, offering materials that He uses to shape our lives into something new? Head over to Venn to hear how we ended up in Denver, and how I see God's will these days.

If you followed the link from Venn, welcome! You may be interested in the three things I learned from the best and dumbest decision I ever made, or how giving up on God's will strengthened my faith. If you like what you see here, please shoot me an email at awidemercy at gmail dot com, or stop by the Facebook page and introduce yourself. I would love to meet you!

I don't want to give my kids a faith that makes them afraid.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

"How was school?"

They clamor in, grubby hands full of backpacks and jackets. Predictably, the introvert is exhausted and the extrovert is energetic. Usually it's the more outgoing child who fills our ride home with his answer - what games they played, what his friends said, the gauge of the day's lunch (funny how academics never make the cut) - but today his brother climbed into the front seat and spoke up first. 

"We learned about how the universe began. All the classes came to my room and the teachers did a presentation."

"Really?" I said, genuinely interested. 

"Yeah," he said. "But Mom they talked for a long time about the beginning of the world, and nobody ever said anything about God. Some people in my class said they didn't believe in God, that He didn't have anything to do with how the world was made. I told them God made everything."

There it was. 

The seasons always surprise me.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

photo by my lovely friend Janet Jacob
It snowed on Friday.

As much as I love living in the West, my internal clock has not adjusted to its seasons. I'm surprised by them every time. I spent the first half of my life in the South, where March promised blooming trees and t-shirts. But March here means two more months of muddy slush and sudden snow. Septembers in the South are, truthfully, awful - muggy and warm until the very end, leading everyone to grumble about the summer that just won't die. Not so here, of course. I knew it wouldn't stay hot for long. After Labor Day I took stock of our coats, but I assumed I had several weeks to replace shoes and gloves. It's only early September, right?

on all of the wins nobody sees

Friday, August 29, 2014

My name is Stephanie, and I didn’t eat any brownies last Thursday. Those brownies sat on my counter all day long, and I didn’t eat a single one when nobody was looking. Not eating them was the most productive thing I did all day. I fought those brownies – and I won.
And nobody ever even knew about it.
I'm over at Five Kids is a Lot of Kids today, talking about the wins nobody ever sees. Click here to read the rest. 
If you're here from Beth Woolsey's blog, welcome! You may like reading about how we are not created for death or how a book on natural childbirth changed my life. If you're winning a fight nobody sees right now too, I would love to hear about it. You can email me at awidemercy at gmail dot com. You can also follow along on our Facebook page. So glad to meet you! 

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